How to cook a moist bone-in ham with glaze

  • This undated photo provided by America's Test Kitchen shows Glazed Spiral Sliced Ham in Brookline, Mass. This recipe appears in “Cook’s Illustrated All-Time Best Holiday Entertaining.” (Joe Keller/America's Test Kitchen via AP) Joe Keller

  • This undated photo provided by America's Test Kitchen shows the cookbook “Cook’s Illustrated All-Time Best Holiday Entertaining.” (America's Test Kitchen via AP)

America’s Test Kitchen
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Heating and glazing a cured ham seems effortless, but many recipes yield leathery meat in an overly sweet glaze.

Bone-in hams, labeled “with natural juices,” have the best flavor, and spiral-sliced ones make carving a cinch, but too much time in the oven can ruin even the best ham on the market, so we focused on reducing the cooking time.

Soaking the ham in hot water shaved off a full hour, and using an oven bag further reduced the cooking time while also containing the ham’s moisture.

Glazed Spiral Ham

1 spiral-sliced bone-in half ham, 7 to 10 pounds

1 large plastic oven bag

Maple Orange Glaze:

¾ cup maple syrup

½ cup orange marmalade

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Leaving ham’s inner plastic or foil covering intact, place ham in large container and cover with hot water; set aside for 45 minutes. Drain and cover again with hot water; set aside for another 45 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Unwrap and place ham in oven bag. Set ham cut side down in large roasting pan and cut 4 slits in top of bag with knife.

Bake ham until center registers 100 degrees, 1 to 1½ hours (about 10 minutes per pound).

To make the glaze: Combine ingredients in small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup, 5 to 10 minutes; set aside.

Remove ham from oven and increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. Cut open oven bag and roll back sides to expose ham. Brush ham with one-third of glaze and return to oven until glaze becomes sticky, about 10 minutes.

Remove ham from oven, transfer to carving board, and brush entire ham with another third of glaze. Tent ham with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes. While ham rests, add 4 to 6 tablespoons of ham juices to remaining one-third of glaze and cook over medium heat until thick but fluid sauce forms. Carve and serve ham, passing sauce separately.